What is it that you seek?, asked the monk to the man lying in front of him. The man appeared to be in his thirties. He seem weak and pale. Even then, under his thick beard and unkempt hair, the handsomeness still shone. Success, he answered in his delirious state.
Success?, the monk castes one long look at the exhausted man. He then blew out the light and retreated into the raining night.
Next morning, the man was in better shape. He had risen with the sun and cleaned himself up before monk came to see him.
Good morning, young man, smiled the monk. You look better today.
It’s all thanks to you, the man said with the eagerness of a man who had waited for eternity!
What’s your name?, the monk asked.
Tom Jones, sir.
Where do you come from, Tom?
Quite far from home, aren’t you, Tom, the monk whispered in his very original soothing tone.
To Tom he said, And what are you doing here in India?
I came here on a business trip, to set up a production unit for my company. I had two days before my most crucial meeting with the governor. So I set out to explore the country. On my way to Nainital, I met a priest. He told me about this monastery. It sounded enchanting. I knew I couldn’t go back without paying a visit. Little did I know of the treacherous nature of these mountains.
Did the priest not mention the altitude of our monastery? We live high above in these precarious mountains for a reason, the monk implored. We want to remain hidden.
He continued, last night when I asked you what it was that you desired, you said success. Our monastery is not where success is found, child. Our monastery is the place where peace is found, where happiness is found. Success can be found anywhere in the world, son.
After a pause, the monk continued, several men have attempted to reach us over the centuries. Very few have been successful. He looked intently at Tom.
I was almost sure i wouldn’t make it. How did you find me?” Tom asked.
The children of our monastery found you. You were quiet wounded when we brought you in- unconscious and bleeding. The universe has work for you, son! That is why you are alive.
With that the monk departed, leaving Tom alone to ponder over his thoughts. The days that followed saw Tom regaining his strength and also his humor. One day, when he was almost well, he was summoned to the monks’ chamber.
Welcome Tom, greeted the monk. Sit down
Thank you, sir
Have you ever wondered, Tom, why didn’t die that night? Why you were saved? Why you were able to reach us? the monk asked, sitting opposite him!
Indeed, sir. It must have been one of lifes’ tricks. Fate, as they call it, Tom said.
Fate, true. But believe it or not, everything does happen for a reason. You are here for a reason. You were nearly killed for a reason. You did not return for your meeting for a reason. The monk continued, As I said earlier, Tom, universe still has some work for you! Your job here is not finished. In fact, you haven’t even begun your job.
But sir, I have been working for fifteen years! How can I not have begun my job?, exclaimed Tom.
It is time for you to quit that job son, and find out your true calling. Had your current job given you satisfaction, you would have gone back the instant you got on your feet. But I see that you’re still here. And quite happy too.
The monk drank some water and continued, you said you seek success. Your job is never going to give you success!
Your hobby will. Your passion will. Do not go towards money. Go towards joy. Find the work that the universe has for you, and I promise, your whole life will turn around. You will jump out of bed in the morning and sleep with a smile at night. You will find unbelievable amount of energy. You will be willing to fight for your goals as hard as you fought that night for your life. You will find satisfaction and peace and happiness and the zest for life all at once.
And son, if that is not ‘success’, I don’t know what is.
A week later, Toms’ resignation letter sat on his bosses desk.
What happened, Tom?, he asked in surprise.
Nothing, and yet everything, Tom thought to himself.
To his former boss, he merrily said, Change of plans sir.
As he stepped out of the building that afternoon with his belongings, the sun seemed sweeter than usual and the wind soothening.
Who knows what life would be from now on, he thought. His eyes gleamed with excitement as he set out on his own adventure.
– Pragya Arora